| Swearing Penn - 3/23/02
We're doing this tour of the
Midwest. The shows have been great. We're opening with
Honor and taking no prisoners. No big jokes, no big tricks,
just us. We're going for no tricks with tricks. You know,
how Bob Dylan never does any tricks, I mean no cheesiness.
Man, it's hard, but we're getting stronger. We're opening
with ideas and our hearts. It's great. It swings hard.
It's so tough to talk that long at the top of the show with
no big jokes, but, man, it pays off. We're opening with
what we want to say and it swings. Once we've done that,
the show is just about us and the tricks and jokes mean
more. I haven't been doing a good job getting us into
Polly from Honor, but I'm starting to get it. Make it more
blasphemous, and less about Uri, and do it fast and take it
for granted, don't work it. Give us a few decades and
we'll be doing the greatest tricks with no tricks. It's a
good show. We're working together really well. We're
thinking together. We've got new stuff in the hopper and
it's going to be really fun to get it in.
So, last night we're in a Chicago suburb. We have two
shows in one night. After the first show, a round little
woman comes up after the show, in the crowd, and says a
little speech that she's rehearsed. It's something like,
"I didn't appreciate the language in the show. I don't
like the "god" in vain and the "damn," you don't need that.
You shouldn't do that, I'm offended."
So, I give her my standard answer (I rehearse too), "It
wasn't just language, this is an Atheist show. We're
Atheists and the show reflects that in places. You know
how xtian performers will have things about their beliefs
in a show, well, we have that too."
"You're not going to get away with that, you're trying to
sneak out of it. I don't believe you. You just want to
"What. There's no god. There just isn't, so I use that
language to help make that point."
"No, you're not using words to get out of it. You just
want to use bad language and that's your way of weaseling
She won. She accused me of something. I confessed to what
I was sure was a greater crime in her world. I was sure
being an Atheist would be worse to her than profane
language. And she wouldn't allow me that "out." She
insisted that I was using the worse crime as an excuse for
the lesser crime. There was no way to win. She'd beat me.
And I wasn't sure how I'd been beaten, but I knew I was.
Some smart guy who was waiting for an autograph, said
loudly, for her to hear, "we LOVED the show and so did our
kids. I'm glad they saw it."
But, she had won. Man, you just can beat crazy. I have to
get crazier. I'm working on it. Stay tuned.